Kanella is a greek graphic designer with a very interesting point of view. Specializing in identity, packaging, print and illustration, she creates conceptual and minimal visuals that catch your eye! Her experience and talent in the creative field work are Kanella’s main “tools” and her target: visual communication. Here is what she has to say:

Hello Kanella! Can you tell us what triggered your passion for design and how did your creative story begin?

My family is the one to blame; they are responsible for my addiction. Everyone has an artistic vein, so most of the times they were creating and crafting stuff in the house.

Added to that, my dyslexia didn’t let me memorize my homework and therefore study. I found Graphic Design liberating, I only had to play with colors and shapes.

Patterns and a balanced, minimal aesthetic play a vital role in your work. How would you describe your style and what are your main fields of inspiration?

Every single project has a story behind; even if people cannot see it. I love story telling. I consider my work very loquacious in the most minimal way. I am obsessed with structure and love and use lots of circles. The circle for me is the perfect shape: very powerful.

Inspirations comes during the most unexpected times, while sailing, jogging, walking, picking eggplants at the super market …
What was your last most exciting project and why?

The most exciting project is always the one that is coming: the moment you are given the brief and you don’t have a clue what the outcome will look like. I think the excitement of having something new that pleases you on your hands cannot be compared with anything else.

What in your opinion are the most important elements of good design?

Clarity and legibility, in both text and images. Design is for everyone, if you cannot grasp the message instantly then it is not successful. I also think that using humor is a big plus.

Identity for Barcatering Group
Identity for Femina Gynecological Center
Your Yellow Thread self promotion project and the Happy & Sweet 2009 original calendar are admittedly my favorites. Can you give us a brief description of both the concept and the creative procedure?

Both of them have something in common: they are both self-initiated.

‘Happy and Sweet 2009’ was my corporate gift, designed to wish my clients a Happy and Sweet New Year. It is a box with a set of 12 chocolates, after the 12 months of the year, each one with a different illustration that incorporates a characteristic element of the month (like a rose for Valentine’s Day in February). It works as a calendar and the chocolate has to be eaten by the end of each month.
In the Yellow Thread box there are four hand-crafted, embossed and woven cards that reveal a secret. "Design is the Key to the Path towards the Sun". The idea behind the project is based on the story of Ariadne and her thread. The old story is retold and the main goal of the project is to focus on the importance of good taste and to praise design. Ariadne’s thread once helped Theseus to come out safe from the labyrinth. Today, Kanella’s Yellow Thread project is inviting people to be part of a fascinating world full of art and design.
As a tutor of Graphic Design in the Technological Educational Institute in Athens what do you advise your students and how do you see design evolving in Greece in general?

To enjoy what they do. Design is not a job, it is a way of living! If you don’t enjoy it, you are doomed to have a miserable working life.

To work hard. Unfortunately, you still need to work really hard for a good result, even if you are very talented.

Never take rejections personally. They strengthen you!

In Greece we don’t lack talent. The main problem is the education of the clients. Few people can understand the importance of a good and successful identity. As a result, we have all those outrageous examples of graphic design out in the open space.
Packaging for Mat Fashion
If Design and Art were 2 people, how would you describe them? What are their similarities and/or differences?

If I could describe them with a few words, I would say that Design is the disciplined child of Art. Art is a form of expression, which is completely free, while Design abides by structured rules such as branding and strategy, because the goal is to make the product accessible to the target group.

Share your top 5 favorite designers and art/design related sites/blogs

Designers: Stefan Sagmeister - not only for his work, but, also, for his working philosophy. Erik Kessels - from http://www.kesselskramer.com/ His designs seem to be effortless and a product of his deep joy of working.

Saul Bass
Paul Rand
Gustav Klimt - I see graphic design in his art.

Shojo Identity
Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?

10 years is a very long time, I like to go with the flow!

But there are a few projects that I would love to have accomplished by then. A few exhibitions, a design of a Hermes Scarf, etc. I would like to expand the classic meaning of graphic design and put it in lots of different everyday applications. Something that I have already started and I feel that people like.

I want a huge room with lots of appliances; leave me there and I will be happy today, tomorrow, in 10 years. The most important thing is that I don’t want to lose my excitement and love for my job. I think I am blessed, my hobby is my work.

And last but not least, is there anything we should look forward to? Any future plans you’d like to share?

I am looking forward to a few foreign publications that are coming up and present my work. It is very flattering to be discovered and be presented side by side with the design studios that you have always admired.

As far as the main plans go, apart from the usual stuff (identities etc.) I am working on a major project that I was chasing for a long time. I cannot reveal anything yet. Soon I hope, but soon is relative.

LINKS: […]

- http://www.kanella.com
- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kanella/9511130349?ref=search
- www.twitter.com/kanella
- http://www.Behance.net/kanella
- http://www.flickr.com/kanella
- http://gr.linkedin.com/in/kanella

E-MAIL: info@kanella.com
Ilias Kyriazis one of my favorite young Greek comic artists surely doesn’t need a lengthy introduction as his brilliant work does all the talking. Here is what he shared with us in this week’s featured interview:

Hello Ilia and welcome to EyeCandies. Can you tell us when did your comics craze begun and what kept fueling your creativity over the years?

Hello Aphrodite, thanks for having me. Well... it wasn't much of conscious decision, I grew up in a comics-reading household, I loved reading them, I liked to draw... so it wasn’t long since I started drawing my own stories. Now I want to believe that I’d always create comics one way or another but the truth remains that I got lucky and got a job doing just that in “9” magazine.  After that it was much easier to ignore distractions and focus on something I liked since I was a kid.

How would you describe your drawing technique/style?

Hm... I have a pretty traditional approach to comics: Pencils, then inks, then (mostly flat) coloring. I don’t find a reason to mess with the basics and I prefer to do all my experimenting on the storytelling and the structure  of the plot.

I always aim my comics to be clear and accessible.

What kind of themes inspire you to start a comic and where do you find inspiration?

I dunno... life? I don’t think many people have answered the age old “where do you get your ideas from” question in a satisfactory manner. Most of the times I see something and I ask “what if...” and from that comes a story.

Manifesto is probably one of my favs. Can you share some info on this project?

It was a deeply personal comic and a learning experience. There were times when everything in my life seemed to revolve around it. At the moment I’m trying to distance myself from it, I’m not even looking at the volumes. I wanna focus on doing new stuff.


What is your latest comic about?

As an artist I did the GHOSTBUSTERS: Displaced Aggression mini series http://iliaskyriazis.com/comics/ghostbusters-displaced-aggression/ that was written by Scott Lobdell and published by IDW that recently was collected in tpb. Very cool stuff, check it out ;).

I especially enjoyed the fact that it received such a warm welcome from the Ghostbusters fan community.

As a writer/artist I completed the webcomic MELODY http://iliaskyriazis.com/comics/melody/ for DC / Zuda which may be my favorite comic I did in the last few years. It will soon be available for download for your iPads and iPhones and all that hi-tech stuff I know nothing about. I’ll post more info on my webpage in time.
How do you see the comics scene evolving in Greece in general and what would you advice a young upcoming comic artist?

I don’t know... despite all the evidence to the contrary I choose to remain optimistic. The last 10 year I’ve taken part in hundreds of conversations about “the Greek comics scene” and what could be done to improve things etc and I’m kind of tired. I think the best thing one could do is focus on his/hers art and make the best comics he/she can and the rest will follow. And maybe the solution isn’t in Greece. Post-Internet it’s one world. Let’s just create cool comics and put them out there.

Also- dear young upcoming comic artist? DO THE WORK. Draw comics and not illustrations. And know that you’ll have to draw at least a couple of hundreds awful pages before you get to your first good one.
Share your top 5 fav artists/designers

At the moment: Frank Quietly, J.H. Williams III, Olivier Coipel, Stuart Immonen, Jim Cheung. The list will be totally different in a day or two.

Use a comic strip to define your current mood

I’m not much of a comic strip person, I’m afraid. I like the Perry Bible Fellowshiphttp://pbfcomics.com/.

Your latest creative achievement is?

I’d say the whole “working in American comics” thing but it’s a work in progress. Too soon to tell.


Can you give us a peak of your future plans?

I can tell you that there’s this graphic novel called “FALLING FOR LIONHEART”, it’s written and drawn by me and it’s coming out this fall from IDW. And that’s about all I can share at the moment. But it’s something I wanted to do for years and I’m very proud with the result and I hope people will like it.

LINKS: […]

- http://iliaskyriazis.com/
- http://iliaskyriazis.blogspot.com/

EMAIL: Iliaskrzs@yahoo.gr

I discovered the work of Grigoris Papagrigoriou through Flickr and I was instantly captured by his amazing visuals, inspired from his passion for typography and graphic design. So get ready for some sharp letterings and super fresh designs. Enjoy!

Hello Grigori, welcome to EyeCandies. What urged you towards graphic design and when did you start creating?

Hello EyeCandies! I got interested in graffiti in a younger age but I barely experimented. A few years ago I went a trip to Berlin. I was amazed by the amount of graphic design around me, in all of its aspects: in the streets, on the walls, in posters from events and in museums. After that trip I had decided I wanted to get involved so I enrolled in AKTO’s graphics department, where I still study until today.

Calligraphy and typography in general play a vital role in your creations. Tell us a few words. What makes a lettering stunning and what creative procedure do you follow?

I’ve been hooked on typography since the first year in art school. Last year, a seminar conducted by the Greek Graphic Designers Association hosting professor Vladimir Radibratovic introduced me to a new technique: calligraphy, which I’m attempting to fuse in the general field of graphic design. This is not always easy so for the time being, I prefer to work on each field separately.

A lettering, depending on the purpose you design it, can be amazing for either its simplicity and clarity and on other occasions for its decorative – maximalistic elements. The creative procedure I follow consists of: thought, coffee, music and definitely a lot of drafts.

You have designed some great graffiti. What are your views on urban art in general?

I by no means consider myself a graffiti artist since I’ve barely experimented with this field. I believe that ‘urban art’ is a broad definition. What I enjoy is the directness of expression and communication with the public. In this context, there are already plenty of interesting events going on and granted the mutual influence between either greek artists or artists from around the world, we can expect even more in the future.
What are, in your opinion, the most important elements of quality design? What are the ‘tricks’ that can ensure a good level of visual communication?

Clarity, studied use of typography depending on the topic and of course the balanced blending with the image. The idea and the right handling of what I mentioned can ensure a good level of visual communication.

What are the sources of your inspiration?

Internet, books, magazines, music, movies and my daily life.


Desribe your last project in a few words

I recently designed a poster for a wine presentation. When I started I had on mind to create something simple, clean and functional at the same time. So I designed two simple forms that relate to the wine (bottle – glass) and chose a simple typography set which I think fulfilled its purpose: communication.

What are your hobbies, how do you spend your day when not designing?

I listen to a lot of music, watch movies and I enjoy going out with friends. I also make sure to leave Athens-jungle at the first given opportunity!


Your top five favorite artists?

Herb Lubalin

Marian Bantjes
Luca barcellona
Sebastian Lester
Herbert Bayer

Your top five favorite sites?


thank you for participating. Would you like to share anything else?

I would like to thank you for hosting me, I wish you the best!

LINKS: […]

- http://www.flickr.com/photos/greg_papagrigoriou/

EMAIL: Greg_pap86@hotmail.com